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Social Representations About the Functions of Deliberate Self-Harm: Construction and Validation of a Questionnaire for Portuguese Adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018

Eva Duarte*
CIE-ISPA, ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Lisboa, Portugal
Maria Gouveia-Pereira
CIE-ISPA, ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Lisboa, Portugal
Hugo S. Gomes
CIPsi — Psychology Research Center, Victims, Offenders and Justice System Research Unit, School of Psychology, University of Minho, Minho, Portugal
Daniel Sampaio
Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
*Corresponding author: Eva Duarte, CIE-ISPA, ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041, Lisboa, Portugal. Email:


The present article focuses on the validation of the Questionnaire of Social Representations about the Functions of Deliberate Self-Harm for adults. The understanding of the social representations about deliberate self-harm can be relevant for clinical intervention and prevention. However, there is still a lack of instruments to assess these representations. The basis for this instrument was the translation of the Inventory of Statements About Self-Injury. To complement this instrument, we conducted semi-directive interviews with adults without deliberate self-harm and analysed the Portuguese written press. Results from these studies complemented the questionnaire with new items and functions. Study 1 consisted of an exploratory factor analysis with a sample of 462 adults. Results revealed a two-factor structure of interpersonal and intrapersonal dimensions. After item reduction, the factorial analysis of the independent functions was also acceptable. This structure was then corroborated in Study 2 by a confirmatory factor analysis with a new sample of 474 adults, revealing an acceptable model fit. This questionnaire presents a relatively solid structure and is based on acceptable psychometric properties, which allows its use in future research.

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2018 

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